The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned the Amnesty International (AI) to stop spreading false and reckless contortion of facts against the military in the war against terrorism in the North-East region of Nigeria.
The Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, gave this warning on Friday, in Abuja. He accused Amnesty International of being watchdogs targeting the military in support of the Boko Haram/Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
”We urge members of the public to please discountenance AI report, as it is not a true and realistic reflection of troops’ counter-terrorism operation in the North East.
“The Defence Headquarters also wishes to state unambiguously that the allegations being touted by AI is nothing but a betrayal of its lack of in-depth knowledge of the goings-on in the North East theatre of operation.
“It is expedient to state that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole who are conducting Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations in the North East do not employ arson as an operational tactic.
“It is a well-known fact, going by the modus operandi of Boko Haram terrorists, that they have more often than not engaged in the atrocious acts of looting and burning of villages, as well as destroying infrastructures.
“It, therefore, beats one’s imagination that AI is attributing these atrocities to the armed forces who are legitimately defending the country guided by extant rules of engagement and operational codes of conduct.”
The Defence spokesman went on to describe the recent report by AI which stated that the Army had allegedly used unlawful tactics of razing down villages and detaining innocent people, as false news.
He further warned the AI to understand the fact that Nigeria was at war against terrorism in the North East. He added that the Nigerian troops are only carrying out their constitutional mandate of protecting lives and properties, even if it meant conducting an evacuation to save and secure the lives of civilians in the conflict.